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USCIS Announces New Special Immigrant Visa for Certain Iraqis
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The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced guidelines for a new special immigrant visa for certain Iraqi nationals who worked for, or were contractors of the United States government in Iraq for at least one year after March 20, 2003.

Section 1244 of the Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 authorizes 5,000 special immigrant visas for Iraqi employees and contractors each year for fiscal years (FY) 2008 through 2012, as well as their spouses and children. There are no filing or biometric fees associated with this petition.

If the numerical limitation is not reached during a given fiscal year, the unused numbers will roll-over into the 5,000 authorized for the following fiscal year. If the numerical limitation for FY 2012 is not reached, any unused numbers from that year may be used in FY 2013. Numbers will not carry forward into FY 2014.

This new program is not the same as the Section 1059 special immigrant visa program for Afghan and Iraqi translators. However, eligible translators who file or who have filed under that program before Oct. 1, 2008, and who are unable to adjust status or receive an immigrant visa because we have reached the current year’s cap of 500, will automatically become eligible to receive a visa number under the new Section 1244 program.

Those translators do not need to provide any additional documents or meet any other eligibility requirements under the new program as long as they meet the requirements under the Section 1059 translator program. However, individuals who file under Section 1059 after Sept. 30, 2008 will be subject to an annual cap of 50 for FY 2009.

All petitions and supporting documents must be filed, by either regular mail or overnight delivery, with the Nebraska Service Center at:
Regular Mail:
USCIS/ Nebraska Service Center (NSC)
P.O. Box 87360
Lincoln, NE 68501-2521
Overnight Deliveries:
USCIS/ Nebraska Service Center (NSC)
850 “S” Street
Lincoln, NE 68508

If you have an approved I-360 petition, and have questions regarding your status, please see the Department of State’s (DOS) Frequently Asked Questions on the Special Immigrant Visa Process or contact the National Visa Center at NVCSIV@state.gov . All inquiries on refugee resettlement benefits should be made directly with the State Department’s Refugee Processing Center at, SIV@wrapsnet.org.


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